With much fanfare, colorful performers on stilts, and a plethora of children’s literature, the city of Trujillo, Peru, celebrated their inaugural Children’s Book Fair this past weekend, organized by the Regional Office of the Ministry of Culture with the support of several local and regional institutions.
Located on the northwestern coast of Peru, Trujillo stands near several archaeological sites, including the SPI Project site of Pampas Gramalote, which is famous for the mass ancient grave discovered there by archaeologist Gabriel Prieto and his team. The burial contains the skeletons of 42 children and nearly twice as many llamas, sacrificed in a fertility ritual about 800 years ago.
SPI has sponsored one of its unique “People Not Stones” projects at the endangered archaeological site, investing in locally-driven entrepreneurial opportunities whose success is dependent on the preservation of the site. One of these opportunities is the artisan workshop of local master craftsman Ivan Cruz, who creates gorgeous carved and painted gourds, or mates, available for sale to visitors of the archaeological site. In order to attract the tourists who will purchase the works of art of Cruz and his artisans-in-training, the site must be preserved, an endeavor undertaken by the local community.
Hoping to generate greater interest in the local cultural heritage, SPI-supported Cruz offered gourd painting lessons to various groups of children from Trujillo at the three-day long event.
Also in attendance were Theresa Bravo, Director of the Instituto Nacional de Cultura (National Institute of Culture) in Trujillo, Henry Gayoso Paredes, Director of the Proyecto Especial Complejo Arqueológico Chan Chan (Special Archaeological Project of Chan Chan), and Yale archaeologist and Huanchaco native Gabriel Prieto, who leads SPI’s Pampas Gramalote project.
SPI was proud to support its master artisan and team members at the Inaugural Trujillo Children’s Book Fair and is already looking forward to attending next year!
(All photos taken by Angiolina Abugattas)
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